The board of the Tupelo Redevelopment Agency voted in a special-called meeting to sell a lot on Main Street to Slow's Eateries for $220,000. Johnny Robbins, of Papa V's, and his brother, Ben, own Slow's Eateries. They plan to build a Mugshots restaurant franchise on the property.
The land is next to the Renasant Center for IDEAs and previously was owned by Oby's. When the Oby's franchisees didn't develop the land, the TRA board exercised its right to buy back the land for the original sales price of $265,800.
A year ago, TRA's board agreed in principle to sell the land to the Robbins brothers for $230,000. TRA Chairman John Oxford at the time said the lack of activity in Fairpark was a driving factor for the lower property price. Oxford on Friday said the board and its attorney have spent the last year in negotiations for the property and the easement to the south of it.
But as of Friday, it's a done deal, Johnny Robbins said.
"It's been an ordeal, but we've got it all done," he said Friday after the meeting. "Nothing ever works as planned."
The price came down another $10,000 from last year and the brothers have financial incentives to develop quickly. The contract calls for TRA to rebate $25,000 if Slow's Eateries breaks ground within 120 days.
If Mugshots opens within nine months of the groundbreaking, TRA will rebate another $25,000.
The deal was a good move for Fairpark, said board member Jim Collins.
"He'll do some business down there," he said. "It'll create a pretty good impact down there. It might cause some other lots to be sold."